- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 30, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Yomiuri Shimbun
U.S. homeland security
TOKYO The recent passage of a U.S. bill to create a Homeland Security Department signifies a major government reorganization.
The enactment comes less than six months after [President] Bush proposed the anti-terrorism department in June. The speed at which the White House and Congress created the new law was a response to growing calls among the U.S. public for efforts by the Bush administration to ensure national security first and foremost in the wake of last year's September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.
The question is whether the Homeland Security Department will be able to perform its roles as efficiently and effectively as anticipated. To address such concerns, the Bush administration must ensure that officials at the new department do not engage in bureaucratic turf battles and that they keep the lines of communication among them open. The Homeland Security Department will come to naught if it is reduced to a hodgepodge of federal bureaus.

Intolerance in Nigeria
BUENOS AIRES Intolerance is one of the major causes of wars, destruction and death in the world, and once again it has brought about a bloodbath. This time, Nigeria has been the scene of violence after fanaticism unleashed a spasm of bloodletting that has left that country awash in pain. As often occurs in a climate of intolerance, almost anything can trigger such violence.
In Nigeria, it seems to have begun with questioning by some sectors of Muslim groups about the Miss World beauty contest to be held in that African country. Intolerance, whether it be racial, ethnic, ideological or religious in nature, continues to cause thousands of deaths.
In an era of globalization barbaric incomprehension and the rejection of any kinds of differences continue to sow seeds of destruction.

U.S. role in Mideast peace
CAIRO The United States is capable of moving the peace process from stagnation to action and progress because the United States is not only one of the two main sponsors of the peace process, but because it is the only international power capable of pressuring Israel to return to the peace talks.
All the Arab parties, including the Palestinian side, have accepted peace as a strategic option, and at the Beirut Arab summit endorsed a peace initiative based on "land for full peace," which primarily requires halting acts of violence by both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides together with ending Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories.
This initiative, which gained international support, still lacks elements of practical application which are in the hands of both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides.
Despite Israeli-American political unity, Israel has not responded or moved to address the American initiatives, most recently the peacemaking road map.
This Israeli attitude, which clashes with American policy, could only be interpreted as [showing a] lack of U.S. determination to exert pressure on Israel.

The upcoming Knesset elections
TEL AVIV There are strange and worrisome voices encouraging Israeli Arabs to boycott the Knesset elections. The Village Sons movement has made its goal persuading the Arab community not to participate in the elections. Its leadership claims the Arab community spokesmen who served in the Knesset were irresponsible and lacked any influence, and have not been capable of advancing the interests of Israeli Arabs or affecting the government.
The movement is calling the elections "a fake democratic game" and is proposing the establishment of an Arab parliament to lead the Arab community.
Abstaining in the elections is not merely giving up a civic right. When it comes to a minority, such abstention is the same as avoiding its own duty to itself. If the Arabs in Israel want to help Jews who want to smash the barriers created during the last two years between the two communities, they must find partners wherever they can, particularly in the political arena. Participation in the elections and membership in the Knesset do not guarantee any party, Jewish or Arab, a monopoly over policy or complete control over every government move. Israeli Arabs, in that sense, are no different from those Jewish parties that have been in the opposition and never directed the government's path. But that is the nature of the democratic system.

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